Today is the day! The day, I finally start my trip around the word!
I am sitting here at the Dublin airport and trying not to cry about all the things I left behind and instead I try to focus on the adventure I am going to discover! And the first city I am going to visit will be Carcassonne.
Unfortunately I just met someone and I need to leave him behind, which makes everything even more difficult for me. But I worked so hard to get here, I can’t just stop!
The plane was ready to start and I was in there – alone, on my own without even knowing where I will sleep at night. But it isn’t the first time I am starting off like that. I did the same in Gran Canaria once. And most of the time, I just slept on the airplane and it made everything easier for me.
Arrived at the airport, I looked around and discovered that the airport was in the middle of nowhere. It was also a very small airport, with just one gate and one band for the arriving luggage – I have never seen such a small airport before. When I got through the airport control, I checked my luggage and got ready for my trip. I basically just followed the street signs towards Carcassonne.
It was around midday when I started walking and the sun was burning down on me like crazy. I literally just melted away and after a while my whole body started to hurt. I didn’t even have water with me. Fortunately, after 2 hours of walking, I arrived in the city of Carcassonne. It did not look that special just yet and my first thought was trying to find water. Fortunately I found a restaurant very quickly and they filled up my water bottle – very nice! But there was no hostel at all to be seen. So I decided to walk further towards the city center.
And after a while, I saw something! Behind the trees, there was the medieval citadel of Carcassonne. It was a stunning huge city hidden behind gigantic stone walls! The whole city was completely intact and it really could have been in a medieval movie. I decided to walk up there and see if there was a hostel inside. It was anything but an easy walk up to the citadel. It took me around 30 exhausting minutes to arrive at the city gate. Just saying the words city gate got me already excited, as I cannot call just one city with a real functional entrance gate as main entrance!
When I walked inside the city, I just couldn’t believe my own eyes! Even though there were souvenir shops everywhere, it really looked like an original medieval city. I also found the tourist information very quickly and asked them where a hostel was. To my fortune it was just 2 streets away. So I went to the hostel and they told me I can only sleep there if I am a member of this special youth hostel club. I explained to them that I am not a member of this club, but that I am a pilgrim and showed them my pilgrim passport. They accepted it as well and even gave me a stamp. Even though I did not start my pilgrim journey just yet, the passport already helped me out!
You have no idea how good it felt to have finally a bed and a shower after 3 hours of walking through the burning sun! My skin was red and sweaty and my body just hurted everywhere, so I decided to take a long relaxing shower and have a power nap right afterwards.
When I woke up I decided to discover Carcassonne a bit. I walked along the city wall, pretending to not see the ‘keep away!’ signs and enjoying the view over the modern part of the city. I also went to the church up there, but I got kicked out, as I was too inappropriately dressed with my shorts and flip flops. Instead I decided to walk around a bit more and found a sweets store. The lady in the store just stopped me and offered me some of the cookies she had and although I did not understand a word of French, I understood every word.
After walking around for a while I have to say that this place was made for tourists! Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, ice-cream shops, souvenir stores, etc. were to be found everywhere! But supermarkets and small stores – nowhere! As a budget traveler a catastrophe! I had no other chance but to go out of the citadel and to try to find a store outside. And there was one! Bought a bottle of water and some ravioli and went back to the hostel to write this wonderful article and having a look at the buses for my next destination.
What will it be?